I know nothing about Queens. It's either Brooklyn or dirty Jersey.
I have relatives in Queens. You don't want to go there without a car, because there isn't *&^% for train coverage.
HB's hometown in Queens is 45 min away from NYU by subway.
Astoria/Long Island City are about 30 minutes away.
Northern and Southern Queens get crappy-ish coverage, but A LOT of subway lines run directly through the middle of Queens, where the neighborhoods are very cute and affordable.